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Claybrook Cottingham

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Title: Claybrook Cottingham  
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Subject: Ralph L. Ropp, W. C. Friley, W. C. Robinson (Louisiana educator), F. Jay Taylor, John R. Conniff
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Claybrook Cottingham

Claybrook C. Cottingham
3rd President of Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana
In office
Preceded by W. C. Friley
Succeeded by Edgar Godbold
10th President of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana
In office
Preceded by Edwin Sanders "E. S." Richardsons
Succeeded by Ralph L. Ropp
Personal details
Born (1881-05-04)May 4, 1881
Ottoman, Lancaster County, Virginia, USA
Died August 17, 1949(1949-08-17) (aged 68)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting place Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Myrtle Baker Cottingham (married 1904-1949, his death)

Mary Virginia Cottingham ____
Margaret Drew ____

Claybrook Baker Cottingham, Sr.

(1) Pineville, Louisiana

(2) Ruston, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

University of Richmond

Baylor University
Occupation Educator; President of Louisiana College and Louisiana Tech University
Religion Southern Baptist

Claybrook C. Cottingham (May 4, 1881 – August 17, 1949) was an educator who served as the third president of Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville and the tenth president of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana.


A son of George Cottingham and the former Louise Palmer, Cottingham was born in Ottoman in Lancaster County on the Atlantic coast of Virginia. He was educated at Chesapeake Academy in Irvington, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees prior to 1902 from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, then known as Richmond College. He obtained the Doctor of Divinity degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. From 1900-1902, he was the assistant principal at his alma mater, Chesapeake Academy.[1]

Academic career

He then moved to Louisiana to become from 1902 to 1905 professor of Greek and philosophy at the defunct Mount Lebanon College, sometimes called Mount Lebanon University, in Bienville Parish, a forerunner to Louisiana College. Cottingham served as the last president of Mount Lebanon from 1905–1906, when he became from 1906 to1910 a founding professor of the new Louisiana College. His tenure as LC president stretched from 1910 to 1941, when he accepted the highest position at Louisiana Tech, formerly known as Louisiana Polytechnic Institute.[1]

A world traveler, Cottingham was still serving at Louisiana Tech when he died at the age of sixty-eight while on a business trip to Mexico City, Mexico.[1]

Family and legacy

On June 8, 1904, Cottingham married the former Myrtle Baker of Mount Lebanon, daughter of the merchant J. L. Baker and the former Mary Williamson. Their children were Mary Virginia (born 1906), Margaret Drew (born 1913), and Claybrook Baker Cottingham, Sr. (1915–1991).[2] A Cottingham grandson, C. B. Cottingham, Jr. (1943–2008), who served in both the United States Army and United States Air Force during the 1970s,[3] died at the age of sixty-five, a resident of Hanover in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.[2] The Cottinghams are interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.

A Baptist deacon, Cottingham was president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, based in Alexandria, from 1914-1916.[1] He was also a director of Rotary International from 1930-1931.[4]

Cottingham Hall, one of the oldest men's dormitories at Louisiana Tech University

Lynn Edward May, Jr., wrote an unpublished dissertation on Cottingham entitled "Claybrook Cottingham: A Study of His Life and Work."[1]

The Claybrook Cottingham Expressway (U.S. Route 167) in Pineville is named in Cottingham's honor.[5] A men's dormitory for honor students on the Louisiana Tech campus[6] and a women's dormitory at Louisiana College[7] are both named "Cottingham Hall" in his memory. The Louisiana Tech dormitory is adjacent to Richardson Hall, named for E.S. Richardson, Cottingham's predecessor as the Louisiana Tech president.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e
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  3. ^ Claybrook B. Cottingham, Jr., obituary, Singleton Funeral Home, Glen Burnie, Maryland, accessed December 19, 2010
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  8. ^ A later Louisiana Tech president, F. Jay Taylor, had previously been a professor of history and an administrator at Louisiana College, but he came to LC long after Cottingham had left. Their paths would have crossed only in 1941-1942, when Taylor was a student at Louisiana Tech and Cottingham was in his first year as president there.
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